Bunker Hill Park

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Reintroducing Los Angeles to Its History

We maintain some distorted version of Los Angeles in our heads. There is no way to bring back the hill or the neighborhood that once filled what is now a park that looks like a mall. Some of the variety can be re-injected though. It was built once why not build it again. A sign in front could say, "This home once stood on ground approximately sixty-five feet above this spot. It was built by Mr L.L. and Mrs Simona Bradbury in 1861. It was later occupied by the Hal Roach Studios, and was torn down for a parking lot in 1925. It was rebuilt in 2007 to remind us of our not so distant roots."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

It seems that the Park is conceived as an entirely separate entity from the rest of the Grand Avenue development, and is planned to be built on top of a parking garage (already existing).

I have a suggestion: What if the one of the project parcels were used for all the parking, so that there would be no parking facilities (except for valet, service and handicapped needs) on any of the other parcels, including the park? This would ensure that even though the project will be designed as fully dependent on automobile visitors, those visitors would be expected to traverse the urban fabric of the area in order to come and go.

Parcel M is located on 2nd & Grand, across Second Street from Disney Hall. The western slope of Bunker Hill and Hope St could serve as the auto entrance and exit, and at the Grand Avenue street level there would be a pedestrian entrance and street level retail, and perhaps also an apartment tower or office tower.

This would allow the Park, and Parcels Q and W to fully utilize their urban potential, and actually interact with the street without
requiring pesky driveways all over the place. Nothing kills the urban street like auto entrances and exits.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Leslie Taplin writes;

You had asked a very good question of the group, namely, what kind of park would you be inclined to take your friends to visit? I thought that was an excellent parameter for considering design ideas. I have a simple answer that keeps coming back to me - one with a lake. And ducks. And maybe fish. Lakes are not like other bodies of water. They aren't like most fountains downtown which too often, when they are working, have an aggressiveness that pushes you away. Lakes make you go inward, a walk around a lake is a meditation. Staring into a lake is a deepening experience, and when people go deeper in that way they get quieter, more kind to others and to themselves. Ducks are just entertaining, and their quacking would add a nice white noise to the sound of buses and commuter traffic. They're fun to feed, the scraps of your bag lunch. A lake might even become a welcome stopover for migrating flocks of visiting birds. Those who live downtown could follow those migrations over time, clock the seasons by it. I don't know enough about fish to make any recommendations about them, but flashes of silver under the water always quickens the heart. That's my answer to your question what kind of a park would I really visit, and bring my friends.